tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC September 27, 2017 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT
to fine out where is he? did he go to iraq? the spokesman won't tell us. here's one to grow on. if paul manafort is, in fact, in iraqi kurdistan, those airports are about to shut down very soon because of the referendum he just defied the u.s. to promote. if iraq follows through on the threats and suspends flights in and aout of that region, how dos paul manafort get home? can he? or is this part of the plan to maybe get stuck several thousand miles away at a very convenient time? maybe bob mueller can send a rescue party. where's paul? watch this space. that does it for us tonight. we'll see you again tomorrow. now it's time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." good evening. >> good evening. might not work out for the perfect hideout. >> trying to avoid arraignment,
northern iraq wouldn't be the worst place in the world to hide out but, you know, maybe the kurds hook him -- i don't know. i don't know. i don't know. >> maybe more time to think about how cooperative he might want to be with the special prosecutor, this could buy him some time. >> i like the fact he is middle of this gigantic counter intelligence investigation about a foreign power undermining the united states. >> yep. >> he manages to squeeze in one more consulting gig to get paid to work against the interests of the united states before he gets indicted. >> he is supposed to be doing the kinds of things you look at and you say, well, a man who would do that would never do that other thing. >> would never do anything to hurt his country. >> he is doing a thing like exactly what he's suspected of maybe having done. that's the way it is. thank you. >> thank you. well, fresh off his humiliating and total defeat in trying to convince the senate to pass any form of repeal of
obamacare, president trump began his big push today in his next legislative crusade and proved why he is the worst possible partner the crime for congressional republicans and, of course, i mean the phrase partner in crime as a figure of speech. donald trump confessed to the crime in the first words that he spoke today about the republican tax crusade. the only reason the democrats can hope that the republican tax crusade might fail is because donald trump is president. if any other republican were president, the republican congress would have passed a tax cut for that republican president to sign. as they did for george w. bush on june 7th. there's the last republican president signing a tax cut in to law on june 7th of his first year in office. on june 7th of this year, the president was in cincinnati
having one of those raucous trump rallies promising to repeal and replace obamacare any minute now and unveiling the trump infrastructure plan. remember that? trump infrastructure plan which has gone absolutely nowhere. is since that day. because it is the trump infrastructure plan. and trump plans go nowhere in congress. there are a few reasons why donald trump has failed to repeal and replace obamacare. the most important is that the country doesn't want him to do it. the polling is overwhelmingly against it. it is a very bad policy idea. but it was made all the more impossible by donald trump's total ignorance of health care policy and inability to stay on message. every version of the republican health care bill was another attempt to take health care coverage away from tens of millions of people, every republican in congress knew that. every republican knew that democrats would say, that the republicans were being mean for voting for such a bill.
but when the house republicans voted to pass a version of the bill they actually got it passed, none of them knew that donald trump was going to call them mean which he did. not long after they voted for that bill. he called them mean for voting for it. with a legislative team leader like that, who needs opponents? during the president rvel campaign candidate trump constantly promised health care coverage for everyone. total and complete universal coverage every person in america and it would be better, everyone would have better health care coverage. thanks to president trump. every time he said that, every congressional republican knew that that was a lie. they all knew that replacing and repealing obamacare is the opposite, taking health care coverage away from tens of millions of people and donald trump made a very difficult legislative crusade impossible. and so, it is now with zero confidence in donald trump's
ability to lead legislative crusade that the republicans today began doing what they love to do. the thing they know how to do. cut taxes. but if you listen to paul ryan and mitch mcconnell, they're not proposing a tax cut. they're proposing something much more high minded. not a tax cut, not a giveaway to the rich. they're proposing tax reform. they're following in the footsteps of ronald reagan who led the congress on what turned out to be successful tax reform in 1986. in which income tax rates were lowered but many deductions were eliminated so that the government took in about the same amount of revenue. it was a genuine attempt to make the tax code less complex and more fair. president trump's speechwriters gave him a speech that stuck to the tax reform ideal that echos
ronald reagan and that the talking points that paul ryan and mitch mcconnell stick with because they don't want to get caught proposing a massive tax cut for the rich. but the problem you have when you send donald trump out on stage is what is he going to say that's not in the tell prompter? and in the very first words he spoke before reading that tell prompter, donald trump went way off message and he gave away the game. >> thank you very much. you just want massive tax cuts. that's what you want. that's the only reason you're going so wild. >> and he's right. massive tax cuts. that's what he's proposing. massive tax cuts. that's what this is about. not tax reform and the massive tax cuts are going to the people with the massive incomes and the massive wealth. and that's not what the
speechwriters put in the teleprompter. here is what they wanted him to say. apparently we don't have that part of it. let me see if i have it on paper and i can read it to you. what they wanted him to say the framework is explicit commitment that tax reform will protect low and middle income households, not the well think and well connected. they could call me all they want. i'm doing the right thing. and this is the important part. and it's not good for me. believe me. do not believe him. there are massive gifts to donald trump and his family in the massive tax cuts that trump and the republicans are proposing. they would eliminate the inheritance tax so ivanka and her brothers would not suffer any penny of taxation when the father's estate passes to them. trump and the republicans are proposing a massive tax cut for
the wealthy cutting the capital gains tax rate. because we are not allowed to see donald trump's tax returns, we can't give you numbers on how giant a tax gift this is to donald trump himself. donald trump is the first president in history who when unveiling a tax proposal has said, it's not good for me. believe me. and he is also the first president in history to we have reason to believe is pushing a tax cut specifically because it is good for him. it is great for him. no president before donald trump was ever vulnerable to the accusation of trying to cut taxes for his own personal benefit. when we watched president reagan and president clinton and president bush and president obama pushing tax legislation, we'd already looked at their
personal income tax returns which they made public. donald trump is never going to voluntarily let us see his tax returns and so whenever he tries that line about this tax cut not being good for him, he will always have to follow it with that catchphrase of his, believe me. but he will never, ever give anyone a reason to believe him about taxes. joining us now, bruce bartlett, a former deputy assistant secretary at the treasury and also with us, david k. johnson, founded d.c. report.org. a nonprofit news aings to cover the trump administration. david is former tax reporter for "the new york times." and, bruce, we want to start with you because you were there at the revolution, at the tax revolution that began in republican governance during the reagan administration where there came the notion that the
tax reform as done by president reagan and the congress would actually improve things for everyone by achieving some simplification but not losing any revenue to the treasury and in order to do that, of course, you had to clear out the principle -- some of the deductions that were losing revenue. what is your reading of what you see in this republican tax plan today? >> well, first of all, keep in mind that the reagan effort in 1986 was a very serious and long-term effort. they didn't just send out, you know, brief documents of talking points. there was a three-volume treasury department study that was very detailed in its recommendations and then the white house itself sent a large document of several hundred pages to the capitol hill with very specific recommendations of what to do and how to do it and
why to do it. and -- when it got to capitol hill, it was a totally bipartisan process. democrat dan rostenkowski who chaired the house ways and means committee deeply involved in the legislative process. many days of hearings were held and senator bob packwood, the chairman of the senate finance committee, was equally involved and the president himself was very involved. and believe me, ronald reagan could rattle off fine details about his tax legislation. i seriously doubt that donald trump has the faintest idea when's in the package he just proposed today. >> bruce, you recently said that everything republicans now say about taxation is wrong. what happened? >> i think they took a good idea of lowering marginal tax rates and doing tax reform and they
simply got carried away. they started making exaggerated arguments, saying these tax cuts will pay for themselves with no loss of revenue. and that's just hogwash. that's just a lie. anybody who says it is a liar. and i think that -- and the people who say it know that they're lying. the's not a single serious study, there's no serious studies of anything by this administration or anybody on the right these days that would back up in the slightest possible way the talking points that they just continually throw out there as just propaganda. >> david, the polling on this is looking strikingly similar to the polling on repealing and replacing obamacare. nbc/"wall street journal" says how should we tax corporations? 55% more. decrease them, the republican
and trump position is supported by 16%. and then keep them about the same is 25% proposition. and so, this begins as an unpopular legislative crusade based on what's actually in this. >> well, when people realize when's happening to individual tax rates they will go crazy. instead of 10% and then 15%, it's going to be 12% and then more than double to 25%. i'm sorry. this is a middle class tax cut? they didn't give us numbers on where they apply but saying $24,000 of income for a married couple, you won't pay tax on it. you won't pay any on 19,000 and not much of a shift. this is, lawrence, absolutely a massive giveaway program for donald trump and had it been in effect the year i got the tax return for, 2005, it would be an 85% reduction in donald trump's taxes. >> and, bruce, the last time
republicans did this kind of massive tax cuts, president george w. bush actually took the bottom tax bracket down and it was 15% and he took it down to 10% which was politically a brilliant stroke because it helped what they call the distribution chart who benefits by how much over the income ranges. to see the bottom tax bracket actually increase is really a stunning tone deaf note that's in this plan. >> well, almost everything this administration does is politically tone deaf. the problem they have is that they want to massively cut the corporate tax rate and there isn't enough -- there aren't enough tax loopholes on the corporate side that just pay for it honestly by getting rid of those loopholes. they have to find some additional revenue and so they're squeezing the individual side which is actually the opposite of the tax reform act
of '86 which raised taxes on corporations and used that revenue to cut taxes for individuals. >> and, jm saohn mccain said th magic words today. he said we need to do in it a bipartisan fashion. david, if they do that, the way bruce was saying they did it in 1986 with bill bradley on the democratic side in the senate and many other players, democrats and republicans in the house and the senate, then you're not going do get a plan that looks like anything like what the president was talking about today. >> oh not at all. this is -- this plan is welfare for billionaires. no estate tax as you pointed out earlier. eliminating the amt which is probably generally a good thing to do and tough do it in context. but lowering the top rate to 35% and then this provision that if you incorporate yourself, you're going to pay no more than 20%. this is entirely designed, exactly as donald trump said
today, massive tax cuts for the people who were applauding him and this is not going to go anywhere. it doesn't have the intellectual firepower behind it. you know? they say it's a nine-page memo. you know, if a student of mine gave me that, i'd say that's four pages, fulfill your assignment and you need hundreds of pages of serious firepower to fix our tax system which we need to do, lawrence. we very much need to fix our tax system. this isn't fixing it. donald doesn't have a clue about what it means. >> bruce, quickly before we go, lindsey graham said when's at stake in this is simply the future of the party in congress. he believes if they do not pass this, they will lose their majority. what is your reaction to that? >> he may be right about that. there's a deep, deep frustration in the republican party that we saw yesterday in alabama where trump's candidate was defeated where the activists are upset
that they didn't get all of the stuff that trump promised them that they were going to get on day one. and so, i think if they continue to fail in their efforts, there's simply not going to see any point in keeping them around. >> the last word tax experts, bruce and david, thank you both for joining us on this important night. really appreciate you being here. >> thank you. >> thank you. up next, how donald trump is handling what he called -- these are his words -- a total embarrassment. over 20 million kids everyday in our country lack access to healthy food. for the first time american kids are slated to live a shorter life span than their parents. it's a problem that we can turn around and change. revolution foods is a company we started to provide access to healthy, affordable, kid-inspired, chef crafted food. we looked at what are the aspects of food that will help set up kids for success? making sure foods are made with high quality ingredients and prepared fresh everyday.
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when the house of representatives failed to pass a health care bill in march, president trump surrendered and didn't know that you never have to publicly admit defeat with legislation. you can always pretend to try again. here's what the president said in march. >> we couldn't quite get there. we are just a very small number of votes short. in terms of getting our bill passed. i think what will happen is obamacare unfortunately will explode. probably be going right now for tax reform. i think we have to let obamacare go its way for a while and see how things go. >> gave up. and here is what the president who has absolutely no chance of ever passing a health care bill said today. >> i just wanted to say, though, on health care, we have the votes for health care. we have one senator that's in
the hospital. he can't vote because he's in the hospital. he can't vote because he's in the hospital. we have two other votes that are coming and we will have them. but the problem is we can't have them by friday because of reconciliation ends on friday. so we'll have to do it in january or february. >> republicans in the senate don't have the votes for repealing obamacare now. it is over. it is not going to get better. and nothing the president said today can change that. one report indicates that after the trump-backed candidate lost the alabama senate race last night, the president was embarrassed and angry according to a person familiar with his mind-set. donald trump has deleted three of his tweets urging alabama voters to support his losing candidate, luther strange. including the tweet claiming luther strange has been shooting up in the alabama polls since my endorsement. donald trump predicted last week what would happen if luther
strange lost. >> i'll be honest. i might have made a mistake. if luther doesn't win, they're not going to say we picked up 25 points in a very short period of time. they're going to say donald trump, the president of the united states, was unable to pull his candidate across the line. it is a terrible, terrible moment for trump. this is total embarrassment. >> and here's how the president handled his total embarrassment today. >> we have a man when's going to be a great senator and i -- i'm very happy with that. i spoke to him last night. i never met him. i'm very happy with him. >> joining us now, john thrush and david jolly. david, i want to get your reading on the president pretending that there's a future
for this in the senate now that he's supporting a new alabama senate candidate who is opposed to it. >> sure. lawrence, he doesn't have the votes and that was a lie today. outright lie. the president has been redefining two major losses in the last 24 hours. health care, he is suggesting it's a matter of the calendar, that's all. in alabama, clearly stepping back from the endorsement of luther strange that i think he was led to by the establishment and made a decision against his own political compass. you hit on something else interesting, lawrence. the comments in march. one of the things donald trump said in march they were going to let health care fail and democrats were going to come groveling to him. >> yes. >> to say, let's work together. what did he do today walking towards marine one? he said, i'm going to have to work with democrats. tail between his legs groveling saying he has to reach out to
democrats. >> and, glen, i want your reading of the trump reaction in the white house meaning the president's personal reaction to luther strange losing, but first, i want to read this comment from congressman thomas mass sy, republican who was elected with tea party support and he said this to "the washington examiner" about republican voters in explaining what happened in alabama. he said, i realized when they voted for rand and ron paul and me in these primaries, they weren't voted for libertarian ideas but the craziest son of a bitch in the race and donald trump won best in class. and, glen, so, so that's what they seem to have been voting for in alabama and nothing donald trump said could get them to go in any other direction. >> you totally ambushed me with the best quote of the year there. >> so sorry. we should have given it to you ahead of time. >> that is awesome.
i started my career covering alabama politics and i can verify. >> yes. >> from first person experience it is absolutely true. look. it really is true. this is a really angry electorate. and they hopscotch from issue to issue. you know? weren't we told, correct me if i'm wrong, five, six, seven years ago that the sole so focus of this particular electorate deficit reduction? remember that one? didn't we today just essentially unveil a tax reform or tax cut proposal and you're totally dead on by the way about the president just completely blowing the line right out of the box today. i mean, we are talking about -- we don't know what the estimate of how many trillions of dollars to add to the deficit. right? we are dealing with a visceral feeling and the way that he is able to redefine -- apart from what the former congressman said about the voracity of the
president's statement, the chutzpah and the sort of political genius of declaring a victory even if it's a loss, i just wonder if i can wind up saying beloved new york mets won the national league east this yore. >> you can in trump world, apparently. and, david, we are also getting this report of trump behavior and attitude inside the white house. axios saying donald trump is mocking leader mcconnell and senator mccain with a thumbs down of the health care vote and, david, we know this is not the way for a president to find his way to legislative success. >> no. nor to build a majority on the votes he needs. listen. you talked about massey's quote. roy of alabama said he won't let
transgendered soldiers into your bathroom. that's the next united states senator of alabama that donald trump is supporting and the establishment is now behind. i think what's happened with donald trump, listen, he was supporting luther strange in the middle of this weird detente with mitch mcconnell. they were fighting, they weren't. they were fighting, they weren't. i think the establishment convinced trump to go in for strange and he has never forgotten that and now he's lost. what does donald trump have the hardest time doing? it is losing. now you are seeing him delete tweets saying he was associated with luther strange. i don't think he'll let it go with mitch mcconnell. it was against his own moral compass. bannon knew roy moore was the donald trump candidate and he won last night and i think the end of the day donald trump is happy with roy moore, unfortunately. >> what was the president or mitch mcconnell supposed to do with a sitting senator from alabama who's running for re-election or election since he was apointed?
he's the vote on health care. what are they supposed to do? campaign against him while he's a vote on health care? i don't see the choice they had. glen, puerto rico situation, we have reports indicating thanks to the president's obsession of cable news and the criticism he was getting on this pal program and elsewhere, that is what finally got him to want to at least get out there publicly and say something about it and plan a trip to puerto rico and try to -- and actually pay some attention finally to the issue. >> yeah. look. he was getting hammered on this and, you know, you can argue that sort of the most proactive he's been in terms of planning were for the disasters. he really did seem to kick it into high gear with texas and florida and then took the eye off the ball somewhat with puerto rico and from my reporting yesterday i can tell you he took his own people by surprise telling them he would make the trip to puerto rico but even in the way that he has articulating this, lawrence, it
was really one of the strangest interactions yesterday during the two and two with the president of -- i'm sorry, the prime minister of spain. in which he essentially talked less about the condition on the ground in puerto rico, less emphathetic about what the horrible circumstances these folks are dealing with, and more about the praise he claims was lavished upon him by local officials for the competency of the response and, you know, i think it just goes to show you how sensitive he is to that sort of krcriticism and acutely awar dealing with particularly a spanish speaking protectorate of the united states and told by people around him, general kelly, new chief of staff, to step up on this. i guess the question is, how significant will the follow-through be? you can already hear the president hedging his bets on this by saying that the infrastructure of puerto rico is already degraded, that they're
in a bad financial situation. again, it is not dissimilar to the way of luther strange situation. he builds in the potential for defeat by claiming it was someone else's problem in the first place. >> david, i want a quick response to you on this jones act issue. the president asked to issue a waver on the jones act so that shippers who are not u.s. based could help deliver relief to puerto rico and he said that he'd heard from shipping companies who were opposed to it and so he wasn't doing it and issue that kind of waver for texas, for hurricane harvey, also for florida, for irma. issued two of them in the n a row for two other hurricanes and won't do it apparently for puerto rico. the afl-cio opposed to the wavers because the sea farers union opposes allowing even in situations like this foreign flagged vessels to help out.
>> listen, lawrence. i'm a rare republican supporting the jones act. it is a relatively protectionist measure and support a waver for national emergency and preservation of life which is right now. give the captain of the port full discretion and full flexibility to decide how to bring in ship-board aid, u.s. ship or foreign flagged vessel. the president's gaffe today is remarkable, it was almost a brownie's doing a great job moment when he said industry's opposed. the people of puerto rico are begging for a waver for the jones act. the end of the day, donald trump needs to get on the phone with governors tonight and mobilize national guard units to go to prr to preserve life. >> members of the afl-cio should be asking about why they don't support the waver. thank you for joining us tonight. >> thank you. >> you got it. up next, the president could not help himself. he had to talk about football again today.
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donald trump famously failed at running a football business in the 1980s. you remember the united states football league, right? well, football business expert donald trump said this today. >> you cannot have people disrespecting our national anthem, our flag, our country and that's what they're doing and in my opinion the nfl has to change or you know what's going to happen? their business is going to go to hell. most importantly, the fans agree with me. largely, the fans agree.
>> yeah, largely. the fans agree. a reuters poll finds that most americans, of course, do not agree with the president. 57% say the nfl should not fire players who kneel during the national anthem. only 29% agree with the president. and joining us now, colin allred, a civil rights attorney and also with us jason johnson, politics editor at the root.com and msnbc contributor. colin allred, you reaction to what the president had to say today and this week? >> hey, lawrence. thank you for having me. i played with some of the guys who chosen to take a knee and they're not s.o.b.s. they're thoughtful guys, guys who have done a lot of good work in the community and i think whether we agree with their decision to kneel or not, we all should agree as americans about their right to do that. i don't think we want the president of the united states going around picking what kind of speech is acceptable and not.
and so, i've been appalled by the comments and i think it's just a pattern ofdy viceness of president trump. >> "the new york times" reports the advisers are not particularly happy about this and they then -- the trump responded to his advisers by telling people that it was a huge hit with his base, making it clear that he did not mind alienating his critics if it meant solidifying his core support. jason, this is a politician who simply cannot do basic arithmetic. his core support is down in the 30% area somewhere. somewhere in the middle of the 30s at a maximum. and working to hold on to them, doing anything to hold on to them. s a complete waste of his time. >> it's a waste of his time. it's a west of his time three years out from a re-election campaign, a waste of his time when he should be negotiating in
the senate but, lawrence, here's the other thing. it is an absolute repudiation of his two-year campaign where he claimed that he was an american president who would care about business. he is attacking the most popular sport in america and turning it into a dividing line at a time when it's should be providing people with joy and money for vendors and everybody else like that. looking at the list of companies attacked, macy's, "new york times," amazon, apple, they do better after he attacks them and if he thinks he'll rally the base, that's fine and rallying people to watch football in defiance of him. >> and, colin, the american sports entertainment complex and american professional sports has built giant tv networks in support of it, espn and others, that is a massive business, a massive industry in which no element of it can be sold off to another country. you can't move those national
football league jobs to china as donald trump is so fond of telling people to be afraid of. here is a domestic industry that is hugely popular and as jason says, the's the president attacking it. >> yeah. i think it is hugely popular and popular because it does have a potential to unite folks. we come together to watch sports. we enjoy having kind of a common comradery while we're watching our sports. and i actually think that trump could learn a lot from football players because we believe in self discipline. we believe in team work. we believe in putting the team above yourself and i think that i actually is kind of an antithesis of football at the best and he could learn a lot from these guys. >> i think ten days ago if you said how many people will be taking a knee at a nfl game and the coming weekend, it wouldn't have been a big number. here's kareem abdul-jabbar
wrote, it's a shift in the sports and entertainment industry's role in political resistance to the trump administration's assault on american values and constitutional civil liberties. and, jason, no one saw this shift, this moment that kareem described so well there. saw it coming. donald trump created this. >> yeah. he created it and pushed people off the bench. if you told me that a rich, old, racist man change the league, we had donald sterling. donald trump repeated the action and made it a national issue for everybody to be involved in. here's the thing. once people get involved in activism and they recognize the actual change that is they can make, yes, you will have the racist attack of pittsburgh happens all the time anyway, and the average every day player, wait a minute, i took a knee, i stood for something and didn't lose a job and endorsements, it makes them more active in the future and what donald trump
didn't think would happen. >> quickly, are voters talking to you about this in your campaign for congress in texas? >> no. they're really not, lawrence. they have so many other concerns right now. especially down here in texas with what we had happen in houston with the hurricane coming through. people are worried about health care this week and worried of wage growth and education and not top of mind for most folks. >> thank you both for joining us tonight. >> thank you. >> thanks, lawrence. coming up, republican senator on the intelligence committee says russian operatives are using the nfl controversy right now to stir up trouble and passions online. how do you chase what you love
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but "yes" is here. the new app will go live monday? yeah. with hewlett-packard enterprise, we're transforming the way we work. with the right mix of hybrid it, everything computes. the senate intelligence committee staff and the house intelligence committee staff meets with representatives of twitter in two separate closed door meetings tomorrow. tonight "the new york times" reports twitter with accounts linked to russia are tweeting about the president's feud with nfl players with hash tags such as boycott nfl, stand for our anthem and take a knee. the times goes on to write there is evidence that twitter may have been used even more extensively than facebook in the russian influence campaign last year. the platform was also used for large-scale automated messaging using bot accounts to spread false stories and promote news articles about e-mails from
democratic operatives that had been obtained by russian hackers. today multiple sources told nbc news the senate intelligence committee invited senior officials from facebook, twitter and google to publicly testify before the committee on november 1st. congressman schiff, top democrat, says he is looking forward to facebook testifying in an open hearing. >> i have concerns about how long it took facebook to realize the russians were advertising on their platform, as recently as july they didn't think that was going on and most particular interest is the question of whether the targeting of these advertisements or the targeting of how they were pushing out negative news or organizing rallies somehow coordinated with the campaign. i'd like to see, frankly, us have the opportunity to display the ads for the public because you really need to see them. i'm convinced. to recognize how cynical an effort by the kremlin.
the russians may do this again, exposing it to public light is the best way to combat it. up next, what mark zuckerberg regrets saying about russia's use of facebook during the election campaign. where, in all of this, is the stuff that matters? the stakes are so high, your finances, your future. how do you solve this? you don't. you partner with a firm that advises governments and the fortune 500, and, can deliver insight person to person, on what matters to you. morgan stanley. if you have moderate to severe ulcerative colitis or crohn's,
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calling that crazy was dismissive, and i regret it. this is too important an issue to be dismissed. joining us now the chief investigative correspondent for yahoo news. and michael, it turns out it was not a crazy idea. >> no, it wasn't. and it took him a long time to figure this out or at least to come clean on what happened it its network. but even today with all that they've acknowledged and has come out about the way about russian trolls were using facebook to influence american public opinion, we still haven't seen the ads. why hasn't facebook disclosed the ads that were run on its platform? when i first pushed them on this a few weeks ago, when it first became clear that foreign money had been used to pay, to buy these ads, facebook said, well, we can't release them because we have our privacy policies, and
>> might all that become public through the congressional investigations? they're meeting with them privately with a staffer. >> well, we'll see. and why are they meeting with them privately? why isn't this public testimony? i think you just reported the senate is going to meet behind closed doors with them tomorrow, and i don't understand why that's behind closed doors, why this isn't public testimony. but that gets to the large question of why much of what's been going on in the intelligence community has been behind closed doors instead of public. >> what do twitter and facebook, what do they fear in terms of just opening the books? >> they don't want to go down a slippery slope of disclosing information to the government, to the public about their users and the way they do business. and one can understand that perspective, but when you have the kind of attack on our democratic system and the
manipulation of these social media platforms, you know, by the people conducting that attack, i think, you know, some of the rules that they have tried to stand by can be -- >> but each of them, twitter and facebook, have rules about their users. and twitser is prepared to kick you off if you say certain things on twitter. and facebook says you must disclose who you are. they don't want people to have fake accounts on facebook. >> but these were fake accounts. they were impostor accounts. they acknowledged that. so it is a bit head scratching why they've stuck to this refusal to publicly disclose. they say it's the government's obligation to do so. and there are questions about why are the intelligence agencies or the fbi or the state department or others weren't onto this earlier. we have, what, a $7 billion
intelligence budget, and yet nobody saw this coming? nobody in the u.s. government understood what the russians were doing and the way they were using our social media platforms to influence american public opinion? you know, there are some hard and tough questions for the intelligence community. >> yeah, and here they are tonight. "the new york times" reporting tonight that the russians are out there trying to push the respect for the american national anthem. they're in the nfl fight saying boycott the nfl, respect the national anthem. >> yeah, and vladimir putin is standing up for the national anthem. you know, that's a head scratcher right there. >> thank you very much for joining us. i appreciate it. thalast word is next. plus, when you get a flu shot at walgreens, you help provide a lifesaving vaccine to a child in need through the un foundation.
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and tonight's last word goes to steven cobr who had a few things to say about former judge roy moore, the republican candidate for senate in alabama. >> moore's long history of homophobia, he once wrote in a custody decision homosexual behavior is grounds for divorce and act of sexual misconduct punishable as a crime in alabama and an act so heinous that it
defies one's own ability to describe it. if you're doing it right. it would be crazy. and if all goes as planned he'll be like what the hell just happened? >> steven cobear gets tonight's last word. "the 11th hour" with brian williams is next. tonight as nearly six in ten americans disprove of donald trump in office as similar pollsters saying he isn't fit to serve. plus the latest on the russia front. members of congress moving to protect mueller from getting fired by trump as mueller prepares to interview trump white house aides. and live report from puerto rico tonight where it's been seven long days and nights since the storm blew everything down. "the 11th hour" on a wednesday night begins now.